Derealization, MS?


Sorry for going anon it is just a bit of a funny question and I not sure how it could be taken by the wrong person.

On a couple of occations I have experienced a strange feeling like the world around me isn’t real, almost like you are watching a movie. When I have done the dreaded thing that you should never do and searched for it on the internet the name for this sensation seems to be derealization.

It only seems to last for a few minutes and has only happened on a couple of occations (very far apart). I don’t know if it is when I am stressed or tired that triggers it or whether it could be MS or my meds (rebif).

Just wondering if anyone else had experienced this?

Hi I just wondered whether this is perhaps a symptom of depression? Do you think that you could be depressed? It is quite common for MSers to suffer from this. I have had depression in the past, mostly PND and suffered from a feeling of depersonalisation and from what you said it sounds similar. Anyway, just wondered, Take care, Teresa xx

I have had this, but in my case, it was very definitely associated with physical symptoms; namely severe numbness of my feet.

I felt “less real”, because I literally could not feel that I was standing on the ground. Although it sounds as if it might be quite pleasant - like walking on air - it wasn’t at all.

It’s a form of sensory deprivation. Sensory deprivation does weird things, psychologically. In fact, it’s sometimes deliberately used by people to promote an “out of body” experience.


At last someone who has voiced exactly how I on numerous occasions feel,and anon for probably the same reasons.

Plus now I know it passes I quite enjoy, is that really bad to admit it? I do have to say it happens more often when balance is poor so I assumed it was a linked to that.

I did start to try and explain it to the neoro once but his face made me think it was best to pass it off and didnt finish.He is used to me forgetting half way through and left it.

I just think I know when its happening,sit down and enjoy the ride

Just realised I did that wrong so you know the nutter inside!!!

Interesting blog as it reminds of a feeling I have had where I feel totally disassociated with life. Like you not very frequent and often long gaps in between, haven’t thought about it for years and certainly never linked it to MS which I have had for a couple of years. Peter

I have experienced this too - it was definitely connected to my MS. I didn’t know I had MS at the time and it was my first relapse, where I had pins and needles in my body and cold things touching my body felt burning hot and vice versa. I was staying in a caravan at the time and I remember worrying that my weird symptoms were due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and asking my family if they felt funny too!

I have had this on a couple of other occasions too, and I think it’s connected to eyesight/slipping into double vision/focusing - it feels like I’m watching the world through a screen and I’m not really there. It’s not very nice and I’m glad it hasn’t happened for some time now.


I have had this on numerous occasions - it feels like I’m in a bubble and the world is going round me outside the bubble. When I tried to describe it to my neuro he did understand and he actually described it as like being in a cocoon, which I think describes it perfectly. You do feel kind of distanced from life, like looking down on yourself, it’s weird.


Hi, yes, was a very early symptom for me. Kept wondering if I was allergic to something or had something wrong with my brain (huh my instincts weren’t wrong there!). Very floaty unreal sensation.Very druggy feeling. It used to frighten me and I’d even pinch myself to try and bring myself back. Once I connected it to MS it became less frightening and I’m quite used to it now.

I always now take it as a sign that I need to rest. Very often the next day my fatigue will be through the roof.

Pat x

Hi, I too have experienced this disassociation with what is happening around me and it always felt like I was drunk. I had this on and off for three or four years and my neuro looked at me blankly and said he had never come across it before! I have since read this is fairly common with MS and I found it really hard to live with. About three years ago I started taking LDN and within one month of taking it the drunk feeling stopped and so far has not returned. I never took LDN for this since it never mentioned helping this particular symptom. I took it to help with my awful fatigue (which I still have and it never had an effect on !). I started on Tysabri in August last year and was told by my neuro to stop taking LDN. The drunk episodes have not returned and I am so grateful for that. I did retire on ill health grounds at the same time I started LDN so maybe it was due to this? My job was vey stressful so maybe cutting the stress was the reason the ‘drunk feelings’ stopped? If you are under a lot of stress that might be contributing to your disassociation? Tracy